South Korea Completes Olympics with 9 Gold Medals

Hyo Jin Lee, Aug. 22, 2016, 10:47 a.m.

Korean athletes wrapped up the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics in eighth place overall with 21 medals -- three silver and nine bronze medals but only nine were gold. The top 10 finish is respectable but still a poorer performance than in the last two Olympics, when it ranked second among Asian countries after China. Instead, Japan soared ahead with 12 gold medals.

This is the first time since the 2004 Athens Olympics that Korea has failed to grab 10 or more gold medals. The country expected some gold medals in judo and wrestling, which it has dominated since the 1972 Munich Olympics, but not this time.

Korea also disappointed in ball games, winning no medals for the first time in 44 years. And this was the first Olympics since 1988 in Seoul that Korea failed to win a medal in table tennis. There were also no medals in gymnastics and boxing and only a bronze medal in badminton. 

But the country can take solace in other achievements -- it swept the four gold medals in all the archery events for the first time, bagged two gold in taekwondo, and dominated women's golf, which has returned to the Olympics for the first time in 116 years.

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